Women World Boxing Championships: Mary Kom, Lovlina to lead Indian charge on day 1 of semis
New Delhi : Five-time World champion M.C. Mary Kom and rookie Lovlina Borgohain are the two Indians in fray for their semi-final bouts in the 10th womens World Boxing Championships at the K.D.Jadhav Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
The Indians cannot get a better chance than this one under home conditions as four of their pugilists have entered the medal rounds.
But a lot depends on the celebrated Mary Kom, having already become the most successful boxer in history by assuring herself of a seventh medal, to give the kind of start like she did on Tuesday for the young India brigade to follow suit.
Mary had clinched the gold medal on five occasions -- 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 -- besides bagging a silver on her debut in 2001.
Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on the 35-year-old when she enters the ring for Thursday's semifinal bout against North Korean Kim Hyang Mi in the 48 kilogram category.
The Indian had beaten Kim in her last meeting in the Asian Championships and the Manipuri veteran is confident of another good show.
Like she said during the quarterfinal victory over Chinese Wu Yu, all bouts in the world championships are tough. But what weighs things in her favour is her sheer experience.
"I am confident. I also know when to drop guard and when to attack. I have worked with the coaches and have a plan in place to counter her," was how Mary described about Thursday's semis, after a strenuous practice session on Wednesday.
The North Korean's USP is her aggression and quick movement as one witnessed on Tuesday when she pummeled her South Korean opponent, Chorong Bak, who was a favourite before the quarterfinals.
Equally important will be Lovlina Borgohain's performance as India will hope the young pugilist to progress to the final.
The Welter category (69 kg) boxer had done extremely well throughout the championships and was particularly good against Australia's Kaye Frances Scott, a CWG bronze medal winner, in the quarterfinals.
The Assamese boxer gets her chance to avenge her only loss to the Chinese Taipei opponent, Chen Nien-Chin.
But Lovlina feels she has matured as a boxer and can think on her feet now.
"I was inexperienced last time when I took on her. But I now know how to tackle her. I did watch some of the video clips to know her style of boxing," said the 21-year-old, who has displayed a perfect mix of caution with aggression so far.
Two other Indians in fray, Sonia (57 kg) and Simranjit Kaur (64 kg) have their semifinals on Friday.
Both Sonia and Simranjit said they were prepared for Friday's bout.
"I have beaten my North Korean opponent (Jo Son Hwa) once before. But both of us know about each other's style, but I am confident of winning because I have worked with the coaches on strategies," said Sonia.
As for Simranjit, she said she was equally prepared, before she went for the practice.
"I have worked hard and am prepared well for my bout," she said.
On Thursday, semi-final bouts in five weight categories (48, 54, 60, 69, 81) will take place while the remaining five are slated for Friday.